By Mike Rowbottom

idowuJuly 10 - Phillips Idowu, Britain's former world champion triple jumper, has announced he will miss next month's World Championships in Moscow and will be taking an unspecified break from athletics.

The 34-year-old has competed only once since failing to reach the final at the London 2012 Games, for which his preparation was undermined by injury.

Continuing problems with his heel meant he was left out of the British team for last month's European Team Championships in Gateshead, his place going to Nathan Douglas, another athlete with a troubled injury history.

"After some careful consideration I have decided that for the foreseeable future I will be taking a step back from athletics," Idowu said.

"I feel this is the right time for me to make this decision and it's not a choice I have made lightly."

idowulondonPhillips Idowu, whose preparations for London 2012 were undermined by injury, struggles in the qualifying competition at the Olympic stadium

Idowu, who has also withdrawn from this weekend's Sainsbury's British Championships in Birmingham, added: "I greatly appreciate all of the support I have received over the past years, particularly from the British public and my team and sponsors; it has been an extremely happy and successful time.

"I'm excited about pursuing other interests and taking other opportunities that present themselves to me during this break."

British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black commented: "It's a big brave decision for Phil, and whilst we're sad to see him hang up his spikes for now, he's had a fantastic career.

"Winning medals across all major championships, including gold at World, European and Commonwealth Games is a brilliant record, and myself and many of my colleagues at British Athletics feel privileged to have worked alongside him through the ups and downs of a long career.

"We wish him all the best and we are sure we will continue to see him inspiring youngsters into athletics in whatever he decides to do."

Black reported at the time that Idowu had been "completely cool" about the decision not to select him for Gateshead.

Certainly Idowu's relationship with the current UK Athletics Performance Director has been easier than that he had with Black's predecessor, Charles van Commenee, with whom he fell out on a number of issues concerning, broadly, availability and fitness.

In March, Idowu announced he had left his training base in Birmingham and moved to Enfield in order to be closer to his family.

The Hackney-born athlete told BBC Essex: "I'm down in Epping now, living and training here.

"I made a big sacrifice after Beijing to move to Birmingham and spent four years there.

"For the most part it was successful.

"Now family takes priority."

"My family and friends are here.

"I wanted to move back home to make life easier for my wife and my kids.

"If they're happy I'm happy and hopefully, coming on to major championships in 2013, my performances will be really good."

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